Does the GPS work if it's not connected to 3G/EDGE/Wi-Fi?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by iPhonePhreak, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. iPhonePhreak macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #1
    I'm planning on using the iGo Europe app for my iPhone for my trip to Europe but I was wondering if the GPS connectivity works without 3G, Edge, or Wi-Fi.
     
  2. rrandyy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    #3
    I disagree. GPS should still work. However, google maps will not work without a data connection. If you have a naviation app that has all the maps pre-loaded, you should be able to use it. I think Navigon preloads the maps.
     
  3. fewture macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    #4
    yes GPS does work without a connection.

    You just need an app that will utilise that GPS lock (ie a pre download maps app so you don't need 3g connection to see where you are)
     
  4. TheConfuzed1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    #5
    Yes, GPS will work, but as mentioned above, you will need to download an app that doesn't depend on downloading maps as you go.

    Something like Navigon or TomTom should work fine.
     
  5. azhava macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    #6
    The iPhone has a dedicated GPS chipset in it - so while the GPS itself may provide you with lat/lon/elevation, it won't do you a lot of good if you aren't able to access the data necessary to load maps showing where you are (unless you're using an app that has the maps preloaded on your iPhone, such as Navigon or TomTom).
     
  6. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    #7
    Yes, it will work, but may take considerably longer to get a GPS fix.
     
  7. iPhonePhreak thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 6, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #8
    I know that Google Maps maps aren't preloaded but the app iGo Europe has preloaded maps. I have an iPhone 4 if that changes anything...
     
  8. draz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #9
    So then yes you can use iGo fine without a data plan or cell connection. The GPS will show you your location. Compass will keep you pointed in the right direction. iGO will show you the map. Much like all of the other navigation apps on the AppStore that costs a lot (TomTom, Navigon, etc...). They don't require a data plan.

    But without a cell connection it takes a little bit more time for the phone to find your position as it relies heavily on the cell tower to first find your general area and then find a satellite.
     
  9. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #10
    GPS requires having accurate satellite orbit information. Every few hours, that information needs to be updated.

    The iPhone A-GPS system relies on a data connection to quickly download the satellite orbit and status information from an assistance server on the internet, in order to get a fast first position fix.

    Without that assistance, it has to download that info from a satellite at a slow fifty bits per second, which can take over ten minutes.
     
  10. itsmemuffins macrumors 68030

    itsmemuffins

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #11
    I don't know what everyone else is doing (most seem to be from the States and it seems that everything is banjaxed there).

    I live in Ireland and use my GPS on the iP4 extensively without a data connection.

    I get GPS lock in seconds (not 10 minutes lol).

    As long as you have an app with pre cached maps you'll be grand.
     
  11. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    Location:
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    #12
    Sure, once it has all the satellite status and ephemeris information.

    Turn off your GPS for a week, or turn it off and fly a few hundred miles away. Then turn it on again. It'll take a while to download and figure out the updated satellite info.
     
  12. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #13
    I don't know about that. I have to disagree. Had my iPhone 4 activated in San Diego, (Live in Northern Los Angeles County). My iPhone 3GS was dead. 3 days later I used Navigon (on my 3GS) to get home, had signal locked almost immediately and didn't lose me at all the entire way home, about 170 miles.

    I've used it multiple times like that before I eventually sold it. Never once had a problem.
     
  13. Z06jerry macrumors regular

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    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #14
    Same here in Canada, I don't subscribe to data. I use Navigon which has preloaded maps, GPS loads in seconds.
     
  14. Gizmotoy macrumors 65816

    Gizmotoy

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    #15
    And you had no data connection at all during that time? If you did have a data connection, you used AGPS, and that's not what he's talking about. If you never leave your general location (I think they say within 200 miles), it can figure out future data. It's when you change locations without its knowledge that you have a problem.

    I went to the Bahamas and had to switch off all data connections. It did take a pretty good long time to find me. Probably around 5 minutes.

    CoreLocation will still use data as part of the AGPS process if it's available.
     
  15. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #16
    How could I have had data on? The phone was dead, no sim, no service? I had just activated my iPhone 4, so it was an iPod Touch with a Camera and GPS chip.
     
  16. Gizmotoy macrumors 65816

    Gizmotoy

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    Nov 6, 2003
    #17
    If you're within 200 or so miles of where CoreLocation was last turned on, it can still achieve a quick lock. It can calculate current satellite locations based upon where they were last and the current date. In addition, unless you had Airplane Mode enabled, CoreLocation will still be able to use AGPS by examining nearby WiFi network names using Skyhook if some are available.

    So it's not as simple as it may appear.
     
  17. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
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    #18
    Yes but I used it several times after the 170 mile trip home from San Diego, reaching outside a 200 mile radius. I used it as my GPS device, because I didn't have a dock in my car for my iPhone 4, for about 5 weeks. Never once had a problem.
     
  18. Gizmotoy macrumors 65816

    Gizmotoy

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    #19
    Oh, I see the confusion, then.

    This doesn't matter. Once it has a lock on your physical location, it's able to calculate satellite positions. So you may have move 500 miles, but since you retained a GPS lock, it knows which satellites to look for and where as you travel.

    The only case that could trigger the long lock process is if the GPS is off, and you move 200 miles without ever turning it on. Then, you have to have both no cell phone reception (for cell tower AGPS) and WiFi turned off or no WiFi networks present (Skyhook AGPS).

    Hopefully that makes it a little clearer. It's actually a pretty complicated system, but the short answer to OP's question is that the GPS works without 3G/EDGE/WIFI, but it *may* be slower to lock. If you don't move around a lot between GPS uses, it'll probably still lock quickly.
     
  19. iUser4Lyfe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #20
    Wrong, thanks for playing.

    You need preloaded maps but the GPS should still function.
     
  20. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #21

    Yeah, okay, I think I get it now, it is more complicated than I had originally thought. All I know is that I got it to work and I was happy with that lol.

    Thanks.
     
  21. Maverick1337 macrumors 65816

    Maverick1337

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    Nov 4, 2008
    #22
    Why you so quick to fail?

    Like others have mentioned, the GPS will still work except for apps that don't have preloaded maps.
     
  22. macrazee macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #23
    Yes. I do it all the time with Navigon. Often travel back roads and very remote areas where even GPRS isn't available. Navigon works perfectly with no data connection.
     
  23. Malsi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #24
    Same dilemma as the Op

    Hi all, I didn't want to create a new thread when I have the same issue as the OP. I decided that I want to stop using AT&T and unlock my phone and get tMobile without a data plan.

    Anyhow, I'm looking for a Map App. or GPS app that has all the maps preloaded in order to not rely on a 3G connection. What app would any of you wise macrumors lurkers recommend? Is there a way for a jailbroken iPhone to download the maps for the original iPhone map app? I've tried several standalone GPS products, but I find that I liked The Map App the best.

    Thanks in advance!
     

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